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Taking Shots (Assassins #1), by Toni Aleo

Taking Shots
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In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.

No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.

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Oh. My. God!
It took me 10 month to finish this book!….I think I’m in shock.
God it’s going to be hard to review this book.

First of all, I have to say that I like this story and it’s universe (hockey) a lot. So even though my review might be a little harsh and critical in a few lines, bear in mind that I actually enjoyed this book a lot and that I’m reading the sequel and the books after that.

“That’s not what drew me to you, it was your eyes…and your ass.”

So, the characters: I really liked them. Elli and Shea are really funny and sweet and they make a great couple.

I loved how Shea never took no for an answer when it came to Elli and how persistant he was in seducing her and winning her over. God knows it wasn’t an easy feat, but he did it nonetheless. Elli was sweet and all and I liked her, but I wish she would have womaned-up sooner than she did because she put them both through the ringer emotionally.

“What do you want me to say, Elli, I’m sorry? I’m sorry for feeling the way I do? Sorry for wanting to be with you every fucking moment of the day, for wanting only you? I mean what would you want? For me to be a fucking douche, cheating on you, not telling you I actually feel something for you? I mean for the love of God, Elli, what do you want from this?”

I get she has esteem issues because of her family but at some point you gotta realize that the people around you are toxic and make your own mind about things before jumping to conclusion hastily.

I also really enjoyed Shea’s family and Elli’s friend.
Her family on the other hand, I wanted to kill !(except for her dad and uncle) You’ll get why when you read it.

The main remark that I have on this book is that it is soooooooo slow. No kidding, it drags on and on and on…and on again. That’s one of the reasons it took me so long to finish this book.

And the reason why it is soooooooo slow, is because sometimes, the characters keep on repeating again and again the same things. It’s like they are stuck on some train of thoughts and just keep saying the same thing over and over again only with different words!

“Whoever thought up the phrase ‘Absence makes the heart grow founder’ was an idiot.
Absence makes a bitch go crazy.”

The other reason why it took such a long time to finish, is because the characters tend to create problems that are no business being created!
Elli knows her mother and sister are egotistical, selfish bitches, but what does she do? She listens to them, of course! When Shea tells her that he’s been played and that it wasn’t his fault, what does she do? She doesn’t believe him, of course!
I think you’ve got it now, Elli DOES NOT make things easy, for others and for herself. To the point where she’d rather wallow in her sorrow than get her head out of her a** and make things better for everybody! (pardon my French)

But I’ll say it again, this book I really liked. Even though there are those big things that kinda annoyed me a little, or maybe more like frustrated me, the book is filled with funny, sweet moments that made me love the characters and their relationship and how they got to know each other and trust each other with their hearts!

“I was meant to walk on this earth with only you, I was meant to give only you every piece of me. I don’t want anyone but you. I love you.”

And if you’re still not so sure about this book, all I can say is give it a chance. It might not be your cup of tea at all, it might be a book that you’ll love, or like me, it might be a book that will drive you crazy sometimes but still be one of your favorites. I for one, will remember this book with a smile!

And I wanted to add a little bonus here to make amends for the fact that I haven’t haven’t been really present on the blog and regular in my post for the last 2 weeks because of school. Anyway, here’s a little piece of eye candy for you ladies. It also happens to be the new cover for Taking Shots. Let’s just agree those are big selling arguments right there….

Assasins

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Confess, by Colleen Hoover

Confess_______________________________________________

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

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That could be fate, you know.

OMG!
She did it again. Colleen Hoover gutted me with her book. I literally just finished reading Confess and I just know I’m in for a big ass book hangover, pretty much like I always do after reading one of her books.

Seriously, I know it took me some time before I picked up one of CoHo’s books and Maybe Someday to make me realize what an idiots I’d been not to have picked it up before, but if you’ve never read one of Colleen Hoovers book or aren’t sure Confess is the book for you, then I’m here to tell you to just give it a chance. It is beyond worth it!

“Some secrets should never turn into confessions. I know that better than anyone.”

CoHo has a talent for writing amazingly touching and loving characters and to weave a plot. With Confess I found myself in the same situation I was while reading Maybe Someday, which is that I was rooting for the characters to do the right thing, even though the right thing was so wrong (I think you’ll only getting this one if you’ve read either Maybe Someday or Confess).

“There are people you meet and get to know, and then there are people you meet and already know.”

Her stories have so much heart and make you feel so much it’s not even funny. Before I started this book, I had to pep talk myself (I say that in the best possible way) because I knew I was in for a roller-coaster of emotions and feelings. Auburn and Owen were amazing characters. So strong and selfless and you know, they just felt real. I know they’re fictional and that this story is made up, but I swear they felt so true to me. And I love that every time I read one of her books I feel that way about her characters.

I’m afraid if I listen to my heart once, I’ll never figure out how to ignore it again.

I laughed, I screamed at my book because I was so mad at Trey and Lydia and how unfair and cruel they were to Auburn and Owen. I was also repulsed by Trey most of the book because he is such an asshole. What he did and said to both Auburn and Owen made me want to crawl into the book and strangle him.

No one deserves you like I do.
No one sees you like I do.
No one understands you the way I do.
No one makes your heart beat like I do. He presses his palm against my heart.And no one else deserves to be inside you if they can’t get there through here first.

I swooned at Owen’s sweet, tender, kind and charming ways, I smiled because of the connection between Auburn and him and how they just clicked and I fell in love with them (but mostly with him).
Owen was just a good guy you know. He was just good and good to Auburn and I liked that about him, that he was genuinely a good guy. I just wanted Auburn to be with him because they were so good together and for each other and I was sooooo mad when the circumstances made it so they just couldn’t. But I loved what he was willing and ready to do for Auburn’s well-being. You just know he is good for her and her for him and I was frustrated that life (and some assholes) wouldn’t let them just be together.

“Sometimes we don’t get second chances, Owen. Sometimes things just end.”
He winces. “We didn’t even get a first chance.”

This book is a bundle of feelings and emotions and it can not leave you cold. Be it because of the story it tells or the confessions that are written in it that are at times funny, sad, happy and repulsive. To think they are all true confessions from people out there in the world makes this book even more special and real. At least it did for me. I felt the same way I feel when I read thePost Secrets books.
Even without knowing the people who wrote those confessions (because the confessions you read in this book are confessions coming from CoHo’s readers, so they’re all true), you just can’t help but feel for them, be touched by what you read. At some point, you just connect. And it’s exactly what happens with this story and its characters. You just connect with them and you feel for them.

It’s amazing how much distance one truth can create between two people.

I won’t tell you much about the story, its characters and what happens in it. I know it goes against the purpose of a review for some people, but I went into this story blind (which is something I do sometimes but mostly something I do with CoHo’s books) and I think I enjoyed it more because of it so I won’t spoil the story for other people.
I just want to say that you should have faith in this book and in its author because both are amazing.

Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they’ll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you make them feel.

One last thing before I go, you should definitely check out the art and the artist that contributed to this book. Danny O’Connor (aka DOC) has an incredible talent and is definitely worth checking out. Anyway, Google is your friend so I’m sure you can find his work without my help, but here are two of his paintings (appearing in the book) that are my favorites:

girl confess

I'll love you forever even when I can't

I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.

Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6), by Samantha Young

Moonlight on Nightingale Way______________________________________________

Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right-or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…

Last book in the Series
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“No man alive loves a woman as much as I love you. I never thought I would feel this way about anyone. I didn’t think it existed. Not for me.”

I hate that this series is coming to an end. I understand that it’s time and Samantha Young already gifted us with over six great books and stories and characters, but this series and its characters have a very special place on my bookshelf and in my heart and it’s hard to realize that this is coming to an end.

This book sort of built up for me. What I mean is that it was a book that slowly (but surely) won the reader over. It wasn’t the kind of books that swallowed me in from the first page to spit me out at the last one. It was more like getting into a bathtub filled with lukewarm water and slowly and gradually feeling the water get warmer and warmer. In a way, it was a little bit like some people fall in love, slowly, without even realizing when it happened.

“I told you I don’t do casual sex.”
“Grace, there is nothing fucking casual about how I feel about you.”

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a 100% sold on this book when I started it. Before I started it I was all pumped up because it was another book in the ODS series that I was going to read, because it was Logan’s story too and also because I wanted to savor it because as mentioned in the synopsis, it is the last book in the series.

So I was a little surprised (and not really in a good way) when I realized that the first part of the book, the part where Logan and Grace meet and bicker at each other from their respective thresholds, didn’t feel like I was reading a Samantha Young’s book but more like a parody of it. It’s strange really, because everything was there for it to feel like another one of her books, but it just didn’t.

“Are you always this deliberately irritating?” I huffed, mirroring his stance by crossing my arms over my chest.
To my surprise, this caused Logan’s lips to twitch, and his eyes started dancing with humor. “I only seem to irritate you.” He cocked his head to the side. “I wonder why that is.”
“Because,” I whined, my head lolling with exasperation and tiredness, “I’m sleep deprived, and it’s all your fault, you bloody wretched manwhore.”
“Well, this is a whole other side to you. It’s quite unpleasant. I may have to speak to the landlord about it. I can’t take this kind of abuse.”
My head jerked upright and I glowered at him. “I swear if you don’t start taking this seriously I will push you down those stairs.”
“Now you’re threatening my life.” He tsked. “That won’t do at all.”

The way Grace spoke at the beginning of the book was, I think, the reason I felt that way. Let’s just say she had a bit of a stick up her arse and you could hear it when she spoke. So here I was, already seeing this last book in a beloved series go to shit. Let’s just say I wasn’t in a good head space. But then, the book took a life of its own and it started feeling more like an ODS book.

“I can’t walk away from you even if I wanted to. And I don’t want to. You are reality and sweet oblivion wrapped up in one annoyingly argumentative, always-bloody-right, classy, gorgeous-as-f*ck package.”

Grace became more….normal (for a lack of a better word) at Logan’s contact and I started sensing their connection. I have to say, Logan was a bit of an asshole with her at the beginning so I liked getting to know the real him with Grace.
I liked their connection even though it felt like it was brought up a little more clumsily than usual. But once they found their balance, so did the book and that’s when I really started enjoying myself.

“The things I’m going to do to you, babe. I’m going to make you mine, every single piece of you.”

I loved the tension between Grace and Logan. I loved how Logan turned to Grace when he was lost or needed help with his situation and how Grace just got him and never judged him for who he was and what he did (except for that bit at the beginning of course).

“Logan MacLeod is the least likely candidate for boyfriendhood of any man in the entire world.”

Logan at the beginning of the book is a total manwhore. He pretty much has a new girl in his bed every night of the week, and let’s just say that the neighbors know about it.  But I liked how he so completely changed his ways when he had to and how he finally let Grace in. I loved how protective he was and seeing him being clueless about how and what to do in his situation was sometimes quite comical. It was also great to see him relate on Grace and look to her in those times. I loved their connection and the team they made. And how I loved Logan’s determination when he went after Grace.

“Taking in their expressions, I just knew it.
Logan had enlisted them.
The bugger.
“Oh dear God.” I let my head fall back as if in supplication to an unmerciful deity. “Why me?”
Joss snorted. “Yeah, doesn’t it suck when gorgeous, funny, loyal Scotsmen fall in love with us?”

This book was full of funny and very emotional moments, be it between Grace and Logan but also because of the other characters in the series. It’s probably the one series where you feel this sense of togetherness, belonging and family. At least it is the one series for me.

The family Samantha Young created with and for those characters is amazing and I can only wish to find this for myself. I’m not sure I ever mentioned it in one of my reviews before, but the family in this series is one of the many things I love about those books. And when you read them, I just couldn’t help but feel like I was part of this big crazy family that are the Nichols, Carmichael, Sutherland, Mac Cabe, Sawyer, D’Alessandro, Walker and MacLeod.
Along with everyone of the characters in this series, it’s this family that I keep with me in my mind and my heart when I think of On Dublin Street.

I loved what Samantha did at the end of her book. To give her readers a last peek into each of our beloved couples’ lives was a great idea but also a great gift. I loved that last chapter of Moonlight on Nightingale Way. It left me feeling all warm and happy and now I have a silly grin stuck on my face and I want to hug every person I see.

“There are moments in life that change us irreparably. Sometimes those moments are grand and dramatic, tragic or beautiful in their intensity. Sometimes those moments are quiet and small like footsteps fading behind a closed door. The subtlety of those moments can sometimes camouflage their impact and sometimes the impact is felt profoundly, but the quietness of the moment is lost on everyone else around you adding loneliness to the equation.”

I’ve been following this series and its author since I first accidentally found and read On Dublin Street back in 2012, while I was looking for a book taking place in Ireland and got fooled by its title. I’m glad that happened because it made me discover a great author and amazing characters and stories.
Like I said, I hate that this series is coming to an end. I feel like when I finished highschool. I was happy because it was summer and I was starting something new after that, but I also knew that it was the end of something big. It’s weird to be feeling so much for books and characters but I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling so strongly about fictional characters (or books in general) so I’m not too embarrassed to be feeling like this.

So, to conclude, thank you Samantha Young for On Dublin Street and all the beautiful people and stories you created. I hope (and wish…. and pray…. and beg) that you have more in store for us readers 😉

Echoes of Scotland Street (On Dublin Street #5), by Samantha Young

Echoes of Scotland Street______________________________________________

Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.

Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.

As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…

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“Cole Walker. Cole freaking Walker. All grown-up. And he was my new manager. I was so screwed.”

Arg! I’m all over the place right now. Cole and Shannon’s story just blew my mind!

I loved reading about Cole finding his woman and Shannon was just perfect for him. I loved how they met and their instant connection.

“There’s nothing between us.”
The gloom disappeared from Cole’s eyes and the gold seemed to flare as heat entered them. “Nothing but a shitload of chemistry I’ve wanted to explore since we first met.”

As usual, Samantha put me through an emotional wringer again. After On Dublin Street, Echoes of Scotland Street is the second book in this series that I read so fast! I could not put this book down.

“I’m scared of you, Cole Walker. I’m scared you’ll hurt me or I’ll hurt you…yet I have no intention of turning back. I’m throwing myself off this cliff, consequences be damned.”

Cole and Shannon’s love story sucked me in from the first line until I turned the last page. I was so sucked into the book that I actually faked a headache so I would be left alone to read in peace and not have to be stuck in a social situation that was keeping me from reading. Yep, that’s how good and into it I was. Just sayin’…

“…Cole Walker represented everything wrong with my life and the choices I’d made thus far.”

Shannon was a great heroine. She was strong and sweet and fierce but vulnerable to. I loved watching her find herself again and realize what was good for her. And I loved seeing Cole support her and love her through all this.

“You’re worth every bad thing that’s ever happened to me, because going through them led me to you.”

Cole turned out to be a great male character and a great man (how could he not when he was surrounded by such role models as Braden, Adam, Cameron, Nate and Marco).

“He’s spent his formative years surrounded by men incapable of restraint when it comes to flirting outrageously with their wives. Each one of them … is a cocky, arrogant, overconfident bugger.” (…) “But you won’t find men who are more loyal or loving to their wives.”

I love Samantha Young’s male characters. They’re all charismatic, cocky, romantic, alpha, sexy and so loyal. She writes her heroes so well, I just love these men. And I know it’s bad to play favorites but I especially love Braden, Nate and Cole.

“What are you doing to me, Shannon?”
My breath caught. Finally, I whispered, “Exactly what you’re doing to me.”

I loved that Cole was both badass and boyish, sweet and arrogant and oh my Gosh, the man can be all kinds of hot and bossy in the bedroom…and outside said bedroom too! I swear he had me all hot and bothered more than once while I read. And even though I found this book to have less steamy scenes in it than the other books in this series, it didn’t bother me because it was no less intense and it fit with the book.

“I’m going to f*ck every bad memory of those unworthy gits out of you, even if it takes me a lifetime. Starting tonight.”

What I liked most about him was that he is a good guy. Sure he looks like a bad boy, but truly, he was a good guy at heart, so loyal and protective of the ones he loves. I really loved him in this book. I loved watching what kind of man Cole had become through the series and the relationship he built with Shannon.

“I get you don’t trust me and I get why, but I want you to give me the chance to change that. I think there’s something here that’s worth the effort.”

This book was another amazing read, full of heart and beautifully written. I loved it and I’m so glad to have finally read Cole’s story, but the sad thing is, even though I did enjoy Echoes of Scotland Street and am looking forward to Shannon’s brother, Logan’s story, I just can’t help remembering that this amazing series is coming to an end very soon.

In Flight (Up in the Air #1), by R. K. Lilley

In Flight
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When reserved flight attendant Bianca gets one look at billionaire hotel owner James Cavendish, she loses all of her hard-won composure. For a girl who can easily juggle a tray of champagne flutes at 35,000 feet in three inch heels, she finds herself shockingly weak-kneed from their first encounter. The normally unruffled Bianca can’t seem to look away from his electrifying turquoise gaze. They hold a challenge, and a promise, that she finds impossible to resist, and she is a girl who is used to saying no and meaning it.

Bianca is accustomed to dealing with supermodels and movie stars in her job as a first class flight attendant, but James Cavendish puts them all to shame in the looks department. If only it were just his looks that she found so irresistible about the intimidating man, Bianca could have ignored his attentions. But what tempts her like never before is the dominant pull he seems to have over her from the moment they meet, and the promise of pleasure, and pain, that she reads in his eyes.

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Soooo…In Flight. Well, first off, I liked and enjoyed this read.

“I knew I had a problem. I was starting to like that kinky rich bastard.”

The book is well written, the plot is more than interesting, the sex is oh so hot and you get attached to the characters. I loved that each chapter in this book started with a new name for James and that it described a bit of his personality each time.

“Mr. Stalker
Mr. Kinky
Mr. Spellcaster
Mr. Charming
Mr. Personality
Mr. Stalker
Mr. Celebrity
Mr. Beautiful
Mr. Mercurial”

It took me some time to finish this book but normally, I would have finished it in less than a day. It’s that kind of book. Once you start it, you cannot put it down until you’ve turned the last page.

“I’m going to ruin you. I’ll be your first, and I’ll fuck you so thoroughly that I’ll be your last too. You won’t want any other man after I’ve gotten my hands on you.”

Now, and this is what kept it from earning five stars, is that even if the characters are lovely and sweet and you get to like them more and more as you read the book (especially Stephan and James) Bianca became a problem to me at the end.

“If you are having trouble understanding, let me spell it out for you … This is serious, Bianca. I’ve never been more fucking serious in my life.”

I liked her character a lot, and that from the start. But the thing is, she was so quick to jump to conclusions and think the worst of James when really, nothing justified it, and that is something that annoys me to no end!

“I had fallen in love with a perfect lie.”

I can’t really tell you what happens and what Bianca does or think at that time in the book but it happens close to the end, something like six or seven chapters before it. When you read it, it’s clear she just exaggerates everything that has happened. Well at least that’s how it felt to me. And then she’s all sad and depressed, blaming James for things that he didn’t do. Anyway, sorry for the rant.Well, it’s probably of no help to those who haven’t read the book yet, but when you do, I think you’ll see my point.

“My past has shaped me, that’s true of anyone.”

Anyway, that was really the only thing that bugged me while reading, so all in all, I really recommend this book, and I will be reading the sequel very soon!

An Unplanned Lesson (Unplanned #1), by Beth Rinyu

An Unplanned Lesson______________________________________________
Nicole Morgan, the new second grade teacher at Pineview Elementary school, has it all together in the classroom; it’s her personal life that she can’t find peace with. Unable to let go of the guilt that she is harboring from her past, she punishes herself by running from all potential relationships.

Her patience is put to the test when Dailan O’Maley the obnoxious but very sexy uncle of one of her students enters her life. She slowly cracks away at Dailan’s crude, crass exterior when they are forced to work together for the sake of his nephew. The two of them learn a lesson in love that neither had planned as they discover that the guilt they are hiding deep inside isn’t the only thing they have in common. Unbeknownst to her, he holds more than just the key to her heart.
______________________________________________

“It’s so amazing when someone comes into your life and you expect nothing out of it and suddenly, there, right in front of you is everything you needed.”

It wasn’t exactly like that for me. I was a little disappointed by this book and quite bored while reading it. And in a weird way it upsets me because I really wanted to like this book.

I mean, when the main male character is an Irish guy with an arrogant and playful streak and a big heart, you kind of have to like the guy. And the whole plot and situation talked to me. So like I said, I was actually looking forward to reading this book when I started it.

I liked the characters a lot. Nicole and Dainan were nice characters to follow and get to know and I was curious to see how their relationship was going to play out.

Their first meeting didn’t actually do much for me but I liked that Dainan didn’t play games and was always straight forward with Nicole concerning his feelings and what he expected of her as we got more deeply into the story. Of course, he was far from perfect, considering a number of reactions he had in the story regarding Nicole, but in truth, it’s Nicole I had a hard time with while reading this book, but I’ll tell you why in a little while.

“Dailon O’Maley had opened his heart to me. Now I had to decide if I wanted to enter.”

The storyline was promising and all, but to me it really felt like that Beth Rinyu wrote what she felt was expected by the readers, and that made it so that I just couldn’t believe in Nicole’s feelings and emotions while reading. Like for instance, when Nicole talks about her feelings. It felt like she was thinking: “Well, that’s what I have to feel now that this happened. Okay, now I feel that way!” It actually came to the point where the story felt a little fake.

Another thing that didn’t work for me was the fact that the story never made my heart race and I was almost never taken by surprise (I say almost, because the ending actually did surprise me a little) and everything felt very predictable (again, except for the end).

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it wasn’t a bad story in itself and the characters never annoyed me but something was definitely missing for me and the whole thing felt somewhat a little ….clumsy. But this story remains a cute, sweet and quick one that is easy to read (even though I got a little bored with the way the story was told).

Now, I know a book is never read the same way by two readers, so I won’t say don’t read this book, because you might like this one a lot. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me and it didn’t make me wanted to read more of Nicole and Dainan’s story in their sequel.

Almost, by Anne Eliot

Almost______________________________________________
At a freshman party she doesn’t remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she’s better. Over it. Because she is.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Unfortunately, until Jess proves she’s back to normal activities, her parents won’t discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won’t cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.

______________________________________________

“Number one: Make at least two friends your own age. Number two: Go places besides your room. Number three: Get boyfriend. Number four: Make sure Mom and Dad notice numbers one through three.”

Okay, so, I’m kinda overwhelmed right now.

I just finished the book and it was a lot to take in and those acknowledgements sort of knocked me on the ass! So, where to start?…

I’d say that if you don’t know yet if you want to give a chance to this book or not, then you really should. It was in my to-read list for a very long time, probably a year or so, and I don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner. It wasn’t that I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to read it or whatever. I really don’t know why. But it took some time.
But now that I’ve read it, well I know it wasn’t a mistake at all and I would have liked for someone to tell me to have faith and give it a try.
So here you go: “GIVE IT A TRY!”

“Almost. Almost.
How I hate that word and the way it defines me.
Almost raped. Almost over it. Almost normal.
I can almost forget. Way worse, I can almost remember.”

This book treats a subject that is hard, and at first you’d think that it is a subject that has already been treated in books a million times. But it’s not. Because this book doesn’t talk about rape. It talks about almost rape. And there is a difference. And I think that’s something that is, in a way, not easy to grasp because it almost happened. And this book is all about the difference it makes when it almost happens.

“Lucky. Lucky. Lucky girl.
Nothing happened.
Nothing happened.”

How Anne Eliot dealt with the matter of rape, almost rape, harassment and underage drinking was really well done. How Jess felt for what she did, had done to her and the consequences that resulted of it afterward. How she felt after all this. The psychology in this book was very subtle and well done and you can easily get in Jess’s shoes, even though it’s a stretch.

“YES. I’m mental. This is why I have a list called ‘how to be normal”

It is very well done. You are not overwhelmed by the fact that Jess has been traumatized but at the same time you cannot escape that fact because it changed her. Marked her. Broke her. And she tries her damnest to get back to normal. Hence the pretend boyfriend.

“Person slaughtered: Me.
Method used: Dimple.
The guy has a dimple. Of course he does. To match the Hollywood chin divot. To make the lump on my forehead pound even harder.
Pointes for Gray Porter: 3,000,000-bajallion, trillion to the millionth power.”

It is no easy subject to write about and no easy subject to read about either, but it is so well done that you can read about it and actually enjoy yourself, the story and the characters while reading. The fake boyfriend twist gave this book the lightness it needed I think and I loved falling for Gray the same way Jess did.

“He’s so good at his job, that I’ve fallen for him, the mirage of him being my boyfriend, all of it. Like everyone else. Like an idiot.”

I really loved this book. It was sweet, funny, moving, deep and intense. It’s one of those books that follow you long after you’ve turned the last page.
You will fall in love with Gray and how good he is. You will admire Jess for her courage. And you will remember this book for a very long time.

“I’ll make sure you forget every guy but me, Jess Jordan. And that’s a promise I mean to keep.”

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